Resting Smoked Cheese

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Marknmd

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Jun 22, 2022
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My understanding that it's a good idea to form a dry surface around fresh cheese to act as a shell to protect it from drying out. That's why cheese wheels are made with a rind. Since we are smoking virgin cheese after it's been removed from a rind, my understanding is it's beneficial to give it some sort of protective shell to act as a rind. And I think that's the purpose of drying out the exterior. I think JckDanls 07 JckDanls 07 who posted in post #34 above is on to something regarding the bag. I think he's saying a bag wouldn't do much relative to a wrap. I think that a bag would absorb moisture from the air inside it and aid in drying out the surface of the cheese since it forces the cheese to rest in a dry-air environment. But it seems to me, wrapping the cheese in butcher paper or parchment paper for a couple days would accomplish the same task much more efficiently.

An analogy might be putting your hand in the 38 degree refrigerator for a few secs vs putting your hand in a bucket of 38 degree water for a few seconds. Which wicks the heat in your hand better?

OTOH, I've read that soft cheese will develop a fragile patina from the smoke. That's a good thing, but that patina, being so fragile and delicate on a soft cheese, can be disturbed if it's handled. So perhaps a bag would be best for a soft cheese?

So far I have stayed away from smoking soft cheeses except for the creamed cheese my smoked onion dip recipe. But maybe I'll try it some day.

Good luck
 

cmayna

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Jun 23, 2012
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Can't see resting smoked cheese in this paper, being an issue. Only doing 24 small blocks. What the heck. It's fun to experiment. Going to rotate the two wraps tomorrow. Now have a smoker rack resting on top to press the top paper in the upper wrap down to the cheese blocks.
 
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Torch&Tone

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Apr 9, 2019
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Washington, DC
The first time I smoked cheese, I let it rest overnight in the main fridge. I did not think what effect that would have on everything else in the fridge... including the lettuce for the next day's salad. Shockingly, maybe not *every* meal needs a heavy smoke flavor! My very next purchase was a dedicated minifridge for smoked cheeses (and a few porch beers).
 

sigmo

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Jun 4, 2012
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I'm reading through this thread, and my question is: Do you do your "drying rest" at room temperature, or is it better to do that in a refrigerator?

It seems like you'd get better drying at room temp than in a fridge.
 
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Marknmd

Meat Mopper
Jun 22, 2022
214
175
I'm reading through this thread, and my question is: Do you do your "drying rest" at room temperature, or is it better to do that in a refrigerator?

It seems like you'd get better drying at room temp than in a fridge.
I think that's an excellent point. I don't know, I'm not a cheese expert. I do know that cheese ages very very quickly at room temp vs 'fridge temp - at least the soft cheeses. My favorite cheese in the world is Cambozola black label (a mix of camembert and gargonzola) which ages very quickly, even when it's refrigerated. It ages so fast, nobody in my area here will stock it anymore. They complain it goes bad faster than they can sell it. I have to drive down to Bethesda to a super uppity grocery (Balducci's) to get it. But man it is good on a nice cracker. But Cambozola is a soft cheese.

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Maybe a hard smoked cheese sitting out a couple days isn't a big deal?
 

Steve H

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Feb 18, 2018
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I'm reading through this thread, and my question is: Do you do your "drying rest" at room temperature, or is it better to do that in a refrigerator?

It seems like you'd get better drying at room temp than in a fridge.
Letting it rest for a few hours at room temp is key to getting it to dry out.